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A pre-order is an order placed for an item which has not yet been released. The idea for pre-orders came when people found it hard to get popular items in stores due to their popularity. Companies then had the idea to allow customers to reserve their own personal copy, before the release, which has been a huge success. Pre-orders allow consumers to guarantee immediate shipment on release, manufacturers can gauge how much demand there will be and hence the size of initial production runs, and sellers can be assured of minimum sales. Additionally, high pre-order rates can be used to further increase sales.
Pre-order incentive, also known as pre-order bonus, is a marketing tactic whereby a retailer or manufacturer/publisher of a product (usually a book or video game) encourages buyers to reserve a copy of the product at the store prior to its release.
Reasons for this vary, typically publishers wish to ensure strong initial sales for a product, and the offered incentive is used to induce shoppers (who might otherwise wait for positive reviews or a specific shopping period like the holiday season) to commit to a purchase. Having paid for part or all of the purchase when placing the order, these consumers will usually complete the transaction shortly after the product's release, often on its first day in stores. Individual stores or retail chains may also offer bonuses for a popularly anticipated product, to ensure that the customer chooses to buy at that location, rather than from a competitor.
The pre-order bonus may be as simple as a discount on the item's purchase price or other related merchandise (another marketing strategy), or may consist of an actual item or set of items. These items may be related merchandise or exclusive items available only through the pre-order program.
Controversy in video gaming
It has been a point of contention within the gaming community whether one should pre-order or not. Some consumers believe pre-ordering to be a waste, and do not believe any kind of incentive is truly worth a marked up price of sometimes over twice the original price for certain digital in-game pre-order bonuses, which may be released as free downloadable content sometime later after the game's original release. In the past, the main point of pre-ordering was so that come release, customers who pre-ordered would be guaranteed a copy of the game upon its street date release and to not have to wait weeks or months thereafter to get their copy due to shortages. As times changed, pre-ordering became a part of most major releases however, even with the advent of online gaming distribution and faster video game disc manufacturing, the need to worry about securing a copy of a video game on release day has been effectively ended.
- "You can now pre-order books in the Google Play Store". 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- "Why You Shouldn’t Pre-Order Your Video Games". 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- "Stop Preordering Video Games". 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2015-05-01.